Low-cost housing idea for stadium

Cosatu has called for suites in the Cape Town Stadium to be converted into low-cost housing, and the pitch into a garden.

“It can’t continue to chew more money – the stadium cannot indefinitely be financially unviable,” Tony Ehrenreich told the Cape Argus on Monday, in the wake of the call by anti-Arms Deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne for the stadium to be demolished.

Cape Town Stadium in Green Point. Photo: Matthew Jordaan. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“The whole stadium could have a complete revamp to accommodate low-cost housing,” Ehrenreich said.

“We are trying to work out numbers, but current RDP houses are around 47m2, so we can start to calculate.

“The field itself could be an internal garden section which the entire community living there could use,” Ehrenreich said.

In a statement on Monday, he said: “If public funds are being spent on the stadium, then it should be spent in a way that the most vulnerable people of Cape Town benefit.

“We believe that the building of low-cost housing in Cape Town central will go a long way to integrate communities across colour lines.

“This represents an important opportunity to integrate black and white communities, which we should not miss out on. The city has not been promoting black and white communities across the class divide, and here is an important opportunity.”

He said the community of Green Point should support their proposal, as it would ensure that there would be no further commercial activities in the stadium, as the City of Cape Town plans.

Anton Groenewald, the executive director in the city’s tourism, events and marketing department, said the stadium’s current range of potential uses was bound by 14 restrictions that were part of the province’s Record of Decision (ROD) that authorised the building of the stadium. These limited the ways in which the stadium could earn money.

The city is in the process of assessing the environmental impact of allowing commercial activities at the stadium.